Year end. Time for reflection.

Another year has come and gone. For many, it’s a time of reflection and celebration of year end. Seems like an appropriate time to reflect about all I’ve done on my website this year.

I started the RiverKeeper Flies blog as a way to combine my passion of fly fishing & fly tying with an ability to teach and share. Oh, and perhaps sharing a few photos along the way.

Black Butte Pond | www.johnkreft.com

Metolius Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

Metolius Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

Caudatella Mayfly|www.johnkreft.com

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Renegade

Today’s Throw Back Thursday fly is the Renegade, an attractor fly developed in 1928 by Taylor “Beartracks” Williams. It’s said the original fly had all white hackle and was changed to brown/white when “Beartracks” moved to Sun Valley.

Another story states George Herter claimed it was an English fly pattern named the Marryat, tied by Mrs Edith Cox in the late 1800s and named for George Marryat.

Whatever the truth is, it’s still an effective fly, although forgotten by many.

Renegade | www.johnkreft.com 

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Recent Changes

Holiday Greeting | www.johnkreft.com

It’s the holiday season, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

My wife suggested we take this net to the river the other day hoping we’d catch some rainbows to use on our Christmas card. Well, the first day the pressure was too much I guess as I lost three nice trout. We went back a few days later and both of us landed a beautiful fish…with this colorful rainbow taking the winning spot on our card…her fish! Continue reading

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Craig Mathews and Blue Ribbon Flies

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I talk about Craig Mathews and Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana.

Blue Ribbon Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Craig and the rest of the guys in the shop are responsible for many of the flies I fish. The flies they develop fit my description for success – simple to tie, effective in catching fish. Perhaps that is the ultimate definition of a “guide fly”. I know fly fishermen who wait for the annual Blue Ribbon Flies catalog to see the new flies developed and tested by these tyers. Continue reading

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Carrie Stevens Green Drake Streamer

Today’s Throw Back Thursday fly is the Carrie Stevens Green Drake streamer. I tied this fly for last year’s Expo Poster Plate, but they used my Pink Beauty instead.

Carrie Stevens created her own versions of streamers for Maine’s Rangeley Lakes Region. In July 1924, she landed a 6 pound 13 ounce brook trout, winning 2nd place in the Field & Stream magazine contest. Shortly after that, she began selling her flies.

Carrie Stevens Green Drake Streamer | www.johnkreft.com

 

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Blue Wing Olive Mayfly

As I sit down at my fly tying vise today, I decided to tie a few flies imitating a Blue Wing Olive mayfly.

BWO | www.johnkreft.com

It’s timely because these bugs are still popping out of their nymphal shucks and I hope to go fishing this week and find a few fish sipping them.

But the main reason I’m tying this fly is I decided to participate in a Westfly BWO fly swap (check out the Westfly online forum at www.westfly.com). First fly swap for me. I looked at the flies others on the forum planned to tie and I thought…“I’m in”! Just the extra push I needed to tie a few trout flies. Continue reading

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Lady Caroline

I thought it appropriate to offer the Lady Caroline as this week’s TBT fly. Yes, I just blogged about tying it in the last week in Tying Spey Flies – I’m Scared, but it’s perhaps the most famous spey fly. John Shewey in his Spey Flies & Dee Flies book suggests there is evidence “Geordie” Shanks developed it. I believe he was a ghillie for the Duke of Richmond at Gordon Castle for more than 50 years. Evidence suggests he named the fly after “Lady Caroline Gordon Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon of Gordon Castle on the Spey in the last century.” (John Ashley-Cooper)

Lady Caroline | www.johnkreft.com

Lady Caroline Top View | www.johnkreft.com 

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Tying Spey Flies – I’m Scared!

Yes, I’ve been tying spey flies and I’m scared!

If you read my post Seasons Change, you’ll see that my fly tying year just ended on October 31. While I’ve tied a few trout flies since then, it’s a time to venture out and try other types of flies.

I’ve wanted to try tying spey flies for quite a while. There’s something elegant about the flowing lines and keel shaped topping of bronze mallard.

So, which one to start with? I finally decided on the Lady Caroline, an old classic. Here is my first attempt:

Lady Caroline | www.johnkreft.com

But let me back up a little bit. Continue reading

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